MEG LAW and her family hit the Victorian Alps for a family snow holiday
Have you long dreamt of taking the kids on a snow adventure but have placed it in the ‘too hard basket’ due to a) needing a removalist truck to carry all your snow gear b) have no idea how you or your family will cope in sub-arctic conditions c) it seems like a logistical nightmare or d) it seems too expensive? If you answered yes to any of the above, it’s time to close your eyes and dream a little.
There is something to be said about getting up high in the clouds with unmatched panoramas of the Victorian Alps, the crunch of fresh snow underfoot, giant crisp snowflakes landing gently on your cheek and the rugged snow-capped mountains glistening in the afternoon sun. Hot chocolate by the open fire, your kids decked out in their cute cable knit woolen beanies making snow angels… Let the alpine adventure begin!
Victoria’s biggest ski resort
Falls Creek is Victoria’s largest ski resort offering 14 lifts, 92 runs and the perfect mix of beginner, intermediate and advanced terrain. A four-hour drive from Melbourne and you will arrive at this ski in-ski out village, a picture-perfect winter wonderland for families. Now, let’s squash some misconceptions you may have about a family snow trip.
Snowclub for children at Falls Creek
Firstly, you don’t have to be an expert skier to enjoy Falls Creek. Sure, there is enough terrain to keep the elite satisfied, but Falls Creek also offers a vast array of beginner and intermediate runs to keep the whole family happy. It also has an excellent Snowclub to introduce children aged three to six to the snow, as well as Junior Workshops for those aged seven to 14 to sharpen their skiing and snowboarding skills. It is true that kids have no fear when it comes to learning new skills, so starting them young is a good idea. In a matter of days, our nine-year-old daughter had mastered the blue runs in stunning bluebird conditions and our five-year-old enjoyed two full days of Snowclub, where he made new friends and learnt how to ski for the first time.
Après activities at Falls Creek
Each day we would ski as much as our aching muscles would allow, but also ensure we indulged in the après-ski activities, including soaking in hot tubs under the stars, toasting marshmallows in front of an open fire, sipping on schnapps, or wandering the streets lined with fairy lights.
Family-friendly restaurants at Falls Creek
In terms of family friendly options around the mountain, Falls Creek has you covered, whatever your budget. Huski Kitchen offers a great range of family friendly Southeast Asian style dishes and is family friendly casual dining at its best. Located in the historic heart of Falls Creek’s famous Village Bowl at the base of the Summit, the Frying Pan Inn offers a great kids’ menu in a rustic inspired pub atmosphere with craft beers. It’s also the perfect spot to watch the weekly firework display. Located right next to Ski School, Cloud 9 is great for cheap breakfast waffles and a barista-made coffee before you hit the slopes, or a woodfired pizza for lunch to thaw out from all your skiing.
Falls Creek hotels
Ski holidays have a reputation for being expensive, but Falls Creek offers plenty of family-friendly accommodation options, from budget rooms and shared lodges to self-contained units and luxury hotels. We chose to stay at Astra Falls Creek, which was awarded Best Boutique Ski Hotel Australia by the World Ski Awards for the past six years in a row. The warm and cosy alpine lodge has an open fireplace, magical views of the mountain, ski-in and ski-out access to all lifts, a kids’ room with toys, and a fully cooked breakfast is included – did someone say waffles? Oh, and when the kids are all tuckered out from a day of skiing and you are looking for something a little extra, it even has a private wine cellar showcasing wines from around the world, which you can experience in the comfort of your own room. Tick, tick, boom!
Lift passes, lessons and ski and snowboard hire
Book your lift tickets and lessons in advance online via the Falls Creek website. You can collect your pre-purchased tickets from the new ticket machines dotted across the mountain, before heading straight to the lifts. To keep the costs down, we used our own snow jackets and pants and then just hired our snow equipment from Falls Creek Ski Lifts on arrival, to ensure the kids were fitted out properly with the correct size ski. If you really love skiing and decide to return more than once during the season, then it’s definitely worth exploring the Epic Australia Pass, which provides access to Perisher in NSW and Falls Creek and Hotham in Victoria, allowing your family cheaper adventures for the whole snow season!
As published in Out & About with Kids, June 2022